Massachusetts has topped many lists of Best States to Raise a Family, and it’s easy to see why: with four distinctly beautiful seasons, plenty of beachfront access, some of the world’s best educational and medical resources, and a rich history, it’s the perfect place for you and your family to call home. But one of the best parts of living in Massachusetts is the fun and engaging things you can do with your children, especially toddlers! I’ve put together a few of my favorite things to do in Massachusetts with toddlers for you to peruse. If you’ve never visited them, I wholeheartedly encourage you to plan a visit!
Ready, Set, Kids is an enrichment center in Arlington, MA for families that offers a variety of classes for kids ages 0 – 10 in various subjects. They encourage children to embrace their curiosity in programs that explore important areas like STEM, foreign languages like Mandarin and Spanish, music and arts, and more!
They know every child is intelligent and that children can achieve successful learning with great teachers who form meaningful relationships. That’s why they are staffed with world-class teachers with lots of unique experience and perspectives to help the students at Ready, Set, Kids grow.
Originally, the company started as a resource for the community, but in the past several years, it has become its own unique community and a warm, welcoming space for families to gather and learn together! They strive to continuously meet the needs of the Ready, Set, Kids community, and they constantly add new courses like hip-hop dance, teen kickboxing, parenting classes, and prenatal yoga. We loved the “Mama and Baby” yoga classes when my kiddo was just born.
They’ve also added an afterschool program and a half-day Spanish enrichment preschool class! Whether you’re looking to drop your child off or stay and play with your younger participant, Ready, Set, Kids is an inviting and exciting place for everyone.
There are few things better than a family beach day, especially in the hot summer months here in Massachusetts. But if you don’t feel like battling the crowds at one of the more popular beaches, check out Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. There is plenty of soft sand perfect for building sandcastles or digging little toes into the sand. If you take the time to walk along the shore, you may discover beautiful seashells to add to a collection!
The fact that it’s a slightly smaller and less populated beach also means it’s a little bit easier to navigate with toddlers. There is plenty of space for roaming and exploring with little legs, wandering around some of the larger coastal rock formations, and getting your feet wet in the softer waves lapping against the shore. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy while looking out on the ocean, and don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen! (Or, be weirdos like us and keep going even in winter; bring coats and rain boots.)
Exploring the world again through your toddler’s eyes is one of the most special parts of being a parent or caregiver. Your little one will love observing nature at one of many sanctuaries run by Mass Audubon, New England’s largest nature-based conservation organization. My family’s favorite go-to from infancy to now at age 5 has been Habitat, with its gentle trails through woods, a meadow, and around a pond. Check out the goats in spring and summer and their discovery boxes for the occasional special pine cone, rock, or spider web. If you visit around dusk, keep your eyes and ears out for the owls.
Since 1896, Mass Audobon been conserving land to protect important wildlife, advocating for impactful environmental policies, and educating hundreds of thousands of visitors. Thousands of floral and fauna species call Mass Audubon home, and their Wildlife Sanctuaries have miles of trails to explore with your little one.
You can take advantage of visiting on any given day or sign your toddler up to participate in one of their Nature Preschool programs! The age ranges on these programs vary but are typically for kids between 0 and 6. Classes include Preschool Storytime, which features a local librarian reading a nature-themed children’s book, and Preschool Nature Detectives, which guides kids through exploring some of Mass Audubon’s tamer wildlife.
Cape Cod Children’s Museum is a fantastic place to bring your toddler to explore all year round! While it’s an excellent place for families to play together, it’s fully dedicated to the child’s experience with hands-on interactive exhibits and plenty of opportunities to learn something new. Founded over 30 years ago by a group of moms, it still thrives today and continues to be an exciting place for toddlers and children in the Cape Cod community.
The museum is great for playing and exploring at your own pace, but they also offer fantastic programming for kids of all ages, including toddlers. They have a mixed-age play group for little ones ages 12 – 24 months old, and each session introduces songs and stories while grown-ups can have their own discussions on parenting.
It’s an opportunity to socialize for both kids and caregivers, all while experiencing hands-on engagement and learning! Their popular Night at the Museum events have fun themes like Escape the Dinos! and The Little Mermaid and Pirate Friends, and feature crafts, games and prizes, special guests, and plenty of other ways to entertain your toddler for an early evening!
Dr. Seuss is one of the world’s most beloved authors, and he was a Springfield Native! The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum is dedicated to Theodor Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss himself). It features interactive exhibits that explore Dr. Seuss’s Springfield roots and allow young visitors to experiment with new sounds and vocabulary, practice rhyming, and create brand-new stories!
Their first floor is entirely bilingual (English and Spanish), and the second floor recreates Geisel’s studio and living room, complete with the actual furniture and art supplies he used while he was alive.
While the museum is primarily dedicated to Dr. Seuss, there are always rotating exhibits that provide full immersion and hands-on fun for the whole family. There is family programming and plenty of statues of beloved Dr. Seuss characters to explore in the beautiful gardens outside. With plenty of bright colors, iconic illustrations, and opportunities to crawl, touch, climb, and play, it’s an ideal space for kids and grown-ups to make fun new memories. Weekends can be very busy, so if you can visit on a weekday you may avoid the crowds.
These things to do in Massachusetts with toddlers are entertaining for the whole family, so be sure to invite everyone to join you on your visit!
Did I miss something on the list? Let me know! I’d love to check it out and pass it along to other toddler moms and caregivers, too! But while you are here, take a look at more Massachusetts motherhood content in the blog links below. Then let’s chat about your dream milestone or family photo session!